Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Clothes Show post. A Review

Yes, just over a week ago I went to The Clothes Show Live in Birmingham and it was certainly an experience! :)

Off I toddled to the NEC at Birmingham (UK) for the amazing show (as it was billed).  It opened at 10am and I can say that I was there when it opened!  I bought a map/discount pass and quickly went to the Boohoo stand where I pimped my email address for a 'free goodie bag'. Only it wasnt really free and it was a bag with a boohoo flyer and a sample of handcream. I got stopped by some 14 year old girls who shouted '"WHER DID YOU GET VAT BAG? WE WANT FREE STUFF".. Then I was slightly harrassed by a stall holder who saw me look at something and then showed me it in every colour- reducing the price by several £ each time!!


The Catwalk show.  VERY LOUD!!  I did a mini post about this on the day (Click Here). Dave Berry shouted lots (I'm not a fan), and they didnt really talk about fashion or tell you what the models/celebs were wearing.  Quite poor.  Also the 'dancing' (while the models got changed) was very ropey in places- Parts were good, but a few of the 'dancers' were out of time and just paying more attention to 'strutting/looking good' without realising how much they stuck out if they didnt do the same thing at the same time as everyone else. They never bought the dancers and models out for a bow though.
Highlights: The male model who did some breakdancing  (proper spins), and the True Blood/nightmare before christmas bit where the catwalk was filled with strange black and red creations. They all stood and then moved off one at a time weaving in and out. Simple yet effective.

The beauty zone: Where I spent a lot of my time!! Freebies??? You must be joking.  All goodie bags had to be paid for £5-£40.  I got a free face towelette from Eyeko when I was browsing, but they had limited products there so I didnt buy anything.  I spent a little bit of money at Barry M (Where the lady started telling everyone at 10:15 that they were running of out stock-- at 17:00 she was still there telling people the same thing ...despite the fact I could see they had boxed and boxes!!).  Rimmel were doing £5 make-overs with a photo at the end..... gave that one a miss.  Strangely there were 3 tarot card readers wih large stalls there??!!??  The Superdrug bus was cool, but I couldn't get an appointment there to get a manicure.  I looked around some more but didnt want acrylics, a tan or my eyebrows threaded in the middle of a show (especially because there was no privacy. Hmm spray tan in public... NO!).  They did have a few GOSH products, but it seems to be fairly empty stand.  There was a little fairtrade stall next to there where they were selling mango handcream so I bought some of that.  I also got to test the dead sea spa salt scrub which had grapefruit oil in it..Mmmmmm smelt so good!! They only had it in a £40 mixed product box though :(

The black label design area was interesting to look round- I found some nice charms, but the girl refused to sell me them, saying that she would only sell them if she put them on a necklace for me which was £13 +.  She had 1000's of them so I don't see why she wouldnt sell me 3 charms :S  I also got a snooty death stare from a lady there who was reaching in front of me to pick up things, so I suggested we swapped places because I wanted to look at the stuff in front of her. I should have just said that I had headlice or something.

I loved the Oxfam Stall and the Vintage Market.  Oxfam was very overlooked when I was there, and the Vintage market was packed.  I thought the hairdressing area was good but it was all floor level and hard to see what was going on.

I picked up a few magazines and goodie bags, 2 Royal Make-up brushes (for £2 instead of £5 each!!), the hand cream, Barry M eyeliners and a grey top (quite plane, sleaveless with a couple of buttons down the side). Also picked up something for the boy but I wont disclose here as it was a present and he might see this page before christmas!

My feet killed by the end of the day. I walked miles and miles.  I think what dissappointed me about The Clothes Show, was how superficial it was.  Don't get me wrong, I didnt expect deep ethical clothing.  However all I saw was tops, teenaged girls and very empty stalls.  What I would have liked to have seen was more inspiration. How about a rag market? Habberdashery stall, fashion history exhibition/information, have a working workshop that will be creating garments throughout the week? Screens showing this seasons catwalks in London/Paris and how they have inspired the highstreet trends? Inspire people to get into fashion? Do make-overs?  Instead it felt like they were charging people £27  (plus £8 for a fold out map and lanyard (which were very hard to understand)).. for a sort of glorified market and catwalk/disco (complete with miming band who are trying to get into the charts).  I would have quite easily have missed the catwalk, paid less and picked up a few more bargains?

So would I go back..? With a few changes, yes.  With times being as they are, a lot of people can not afford to pay that price AND have spending money at the end!  Thanks to the newspaper I had a chance to do something that I have wanted to do for years. This year I was free to go but the price was putting me off.  I did see some weird and wonderful things, and it was an experience, but I will not be going back in a hurry.  It seemed small, and like it as relying on Hollyoaks celebrities to pull in the crowds- either that or their 'young model search' for 14-18 year olds.  Loads of girls were there to 'be spotted'- all dolled up in tiny denim shorts, tights and skyscraper heels. I dread to think what damage they did after a day of walking round.  Some of them looked very young and uncomfortable.  I never got my free t-shirt either.  Apparently we were supposed to get a free t-shirt as we left, but I never saw any being handed out during the day.

I'm sure some people love it, but I just found it all a bit hit and miss.  Some good things, some not so good- but it was the first day so maybe days will be different.

Stay tuned for reviews of the goodie bag items and the items above :)

9 comments:

  1. It sounds like a bit of a disappointment. I'll look forward to reading your goodie bag reviews though.

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  2. I've been a few times and decided after 2007 I wouldn't go back, although the vintage area sounds more like my thing. Good review!

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  3. I was really interested to read this as i've always wanted to go the the Clothes Show. It doesn't really sound like my sort of thing though. I love your ideas of having a rag market etc would be much more interesting x

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  4. Urgh sounds crap, I would suggest not going to the Grazia london fashion weekend either, a load of overpriced crap, we got drunk in the champagne bar then went (drunk) to Harrods and had a great time since we were too drunk to cary about the snobby staff we tried on armfuls of designer clothes (didn't buy any) then went home haha!

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  5. I went there last year for the first time and was so dissapointed it really was aimed at and for teenage girls even the clothes sizes were mainly size 6 and 8, a girl who was working for I.D cosmetics offered me a 'free' make up session which i took her up on and then tried selling me £50 worth of stuff after she finished and looked discusted at me when i said i wouldn't be buying anything lol.
    Most the stalls literally try to force you into buying there products too!

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  6. @Grace, I think that is the right word. I didnt pick up too much but I have a few little bits and pieces. :) x

    @Jen Thanks! The vintage/oxfam area was good. If every stall had of been charity/vintage... :)x

    @Em, yeah it was a bit weird. It is supposed to be aimed at mid 20s, but it didnt really feel like that. :( x

    @Sarah, I'll give that one a miss then!! They had champagne here but I wasnt in the right mood.

    @Shimmergirl88 I'm glad Im not the only one! Yes, some of the sales people were a bit um.. proactive. One literally just walked up to me in the middle of the prominade bit and pulled the elastic out of my hair before putting their elastic comb thing in!! I didnt mind too much, because she was quite gentle, but still.. if I had spnt hours over my hair then I'd have been a bit hacked off!! As it was I ran out the door with a messy bun at 0730! £50 is a lot, they try to be really sneeky! x

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  7. Aww that's pretty disapointing. I went to 'Girls Day Out' in Glasgow which was quite similar with the make up stands etc. There were girls getting their spray tan done in the middle of the floor in front of everyone too! Haha. How odd. xo

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  8. This is a really interesting review of your time, and pretty much my thoughts! I also won Lauren's giveaway for free tickets. I'm going to do my review later tonight! :)
    xoxo

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  9. @Emma Yeah that was a bit strange. I'd find a spa trip much more relaxing. I think I remember reading about 'Girls Day Out'. It's a good idea to have an event like that, but there is no way I would get a spray tan in the middle of an exhibition hall!! Hygiene is the first factor! x

    @Georgie, thanks, I'm glad to know that it really isnt 'just me' who found it weird!! I'll look forward to reading your review :) Hopefully you picked up a few good things too x

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